The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union which is challenging Arizona’s program that provides a tax break to private schools. Iowa has a program that provides tax credits for gifts to private schools, but Trish Wilger of the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education says they are not worried about the impact of a high court ruling.
“From what I’ve heard, I do not have anxiety about the Iowa program. The Arizona program and the Iowa program do have some differences,” Wilger. The American Civil Liberties union brought the Arizona case claiming the school tuition organization tax credit violates the separation of church and state.
The A-C-L-U of Iowa has held off challenging Iowa’s tax credit pending the outcome of the Arizona case. Wilger says the credits have face other challenges in court. She says the Supreme Court has heard similar cases in the past and has always ruled in favor of those programs being constitutional.
“So I feel comfortable we will see a favorable outcome,” Wilger says. The A-C-L-U says the school voucher programs the court has approved in the past did not consider religion in the distribution of money to parents, while the Arizona and Iowa programs do. Wilger says school choice advocates may seek an expansion of the Iowa tax credit when lawmakers convene in January.